When roster management gets personal

If this account is true, the only thing that surprises me about the Maurice Smith story is, after all that’s gone down, that Nick Saban “doesn’t feel like it’s in Smith’s best interest to leave Alabama”.

Well, that and why he thinks Smith would want to stay in the first place.


Filed under Nick Saban Rules

39 responses to “When roster management gets personal

  1. Herschel Krustofsky

    I love how Napoleon Nick always knows what is in the best interests of those that he has some amount of control over. What a fucking tyrant.


    The SEC should change the rule in regards to players that have graduated. It is usually in the students best interest to get a graduate degree from a different school….this is just standing in the way of that.

  3. W Cobb Dawg

    Where’s a fricken attorney when a kid needs one? Why is this family even appealing to saban. Drag his a$$ into court and have it out.

    This is the most important lesson I learned going from the lower 20% in wealth to the top 10% – the difference between the rights of the rich and poor in the USA. Wealthy people would never dream of being pushed around by saban, bama or the sec. They’d dial up an attorney immediately. Poor on the other hand, get pushed around, their rights trampled by the powerful.

    And yet another P.R. fiasco for the sec!

    • Dylan Dreyer's Booty

      If he was going to do that, he could just sit a year and play next year. It will no doubt take at least that long to get a legal resolution. Jus’ sayin’.

    • Legal Beagle

      As my brother, the attorney, has always counseled me, “How much justice can you afford?”

      He is right on with that IMO.

    • anon

      what court? the local courthouse down the street from Bryant Denny stadium? the court that every employee is a season ticket holder at Bama?

    • No One Knows You're a Dawg

      I’m surprised no attorney has offered to represent him pro Bono, if for no other reason than the publicity.

      File an interlocutory injunction against Saban, Bama, and the SEC in federal court. Saban would almost certainly release him immediately in order to preempt an adverse judgment declaring such restrictions illegal.

  4. Snoop Dawgy Dawg

    I agree with the comment embedded in the article that Smart should have release the running back from the team this summer. I agree Smith should be released to play. They can both be wrong at the same time. Richt had his faults, but his athlete first policy as it related to blocking transfers really was on another level.

    perhaps it hurt his W-L record, but it was the right thing to do and I still think that matters.

    as for this one, holding a university graduate hostage is about as absurd a situation as it gets. in the normal world, this scenario is pretty close to it.

    “bright high school senior awarded full scholarship to Mercer University. He graduates in 3 years with degree in philosophy. upon graduation, he is offered full ride to Harvard Law. Mercer University blocks his enrollment at Harvard, forcing student to enroll in Mercer Law School because Mercer doesn’t think Harvard Law is in his best interest”

    the absurdity of it is just mind boggling.

    • stoopnagle

      I think an athlete who has graduated can be treated differently than one who has not. The earning of the degree – ostensibly the reason one is enrolled in the first place – should earn the athlete his or her rights of choice back which were surrendered when the LOI was signed.

      But in Turman’s case, I don’t think it was so bad to put SEC/Tech/Miami off limits.

      • Snoop Dawgy Dawg

        ok. I’ll bite. AJ Turman is recruited to Athens. buried on the depth chart. recruited over and never going to play. Why do we care where he goes? A degree from Miami is worth significantly more than Florida A&M or wherever he ended up. same could be said for GT.

        It’s literally making a decision for him that could affect his lifetime earnings in a concrete fashion. I don’t support paying players, but if we’re not giving them of the upside potential WHILE THEY ARE IN COLLEGE, then who are the coaches to limit their potential financial opportunities after college?

        • Argondawg

          Did he even have a scholly offer at Miami. Why would he want to transfer to the head coach and the RB coach that never gave him a single game day snap in 2 years? That makes zero sense.

          • stoopnagle

            He said he never wanted to go to Miami, but I get why Kirby would do that right now. I can’t imagine it would be an issue in 2-3 years.

        • stoopnagle

          Because we don’t want him scoring touchdowns against us?

          • Snoop Dawgy Dawg

            Why is that the head coach’s choice to make? Kirby Smart was the defensive coordinator for Alabama last year. Why can’t Saban force Smart to sit out 2 years before he can transfer in conference, or 1 year if he wants to go out of conference?

            What Smart and Smith are seeking to do is quite literally the same situation. I am striving at my chosen path at Alabama, doing everything I can to help the team win a national championship. Smart elects to transfer to UGA. Turman/Smith would like to do the same but are blocked by the head coach.

            How is this defensible? Smart was in the middle of a multi-year contract. I’d bet Smith’s scholarship certainly wasn’t multi-year, as that story makes the point that they renewed the scholarship without telling him, so in that sense, it’s even more lopsided in Smith’s favor.

            • B-rad

              In the case of Smart and Turman, because he doesn’t want every kid that has even a slightly difficult transition with the new coaching staff to just quit and transfer to Miami. Might not be starters that leave, but certainly could hurt depth at key positions.

            • PTC DAWG

              You have a he details of CKS’s Bama contract handy? What details were not satisfied? Buyouts not met, etc? Let’s hear it.

        • 86BONE

          Amen Snoop…

    • AthensHomerDawg

      Isn’t it also kinda absurd that a guy who runs fast, jumps high and can run a football gains entrance into a school like Georgia even though he hardly meets academic requirements?

  5. BeardDawg

    The comments on that article’s page are ridiculous. All Saban cultists bashing this kid and CKS. Dare I say, Sting Talk-ish?

  6. South FL Dawg

    There’s no end to how mad I would be if I wanted to transfer and couldn’t. Graduate or not. The rule is for the coaches and I get it, they don’t want the player to help an opponent. But it’s wrong. Just wrong.

    Now all that said, this young man needs to just transfer somewhere else so he can get to camp and start practicing. I wish nothing but the best for him.

  7. HVL Dawg

    One thing is clear: Nick Saban is not going to sign a release for Smith to play at UGA. This kid may win some type of appeal, the kid may play somewhere else, but Saban ain’t signing off to UGA.

    • AthensHomerDawg

      Saban is the coach and general manager of a football program. His role there is to do everything to win and maximize the return on investment and to marginalize everyone he may or does compete with.
      There I’ve said it. Welcome to semi-pro ball.

      • 86BONE

        And Mark Richt did NOT prescribe to anything close to this Bull Sheet that the pompas ass Saban is doing! I hope everyone out there that wanted Richt gone can see why that man was great for our University!
        Win at all costs is about as lame as it gets….

    • stoopnagle

      Yeah, unless Greg Sankey wants to piss off Saban, dude is going elsewhere.

  8. Bright Idea

    Zenitz just told Finebum there is bad blood between Saban and Kirby even before this transfer issue.

    • Chi-town Dawg

      I heard that comment earlier today as well and would love to know more. He told Finebaum there were several things that Saban wasn’t happy about with the handling of the Smart situation. He then implied the hiring of Mel Tucker was one of them.

  9. Charles

    People in power love to talk about the benefits of staying put and the myth of seeking more favorable circumstances. Do as I say, not as I do.

  10. MDDawg

    Does the player have the option to transfer to another school and then transfer again? For example, could he transfer to non-SEC school, then immediately get the OK to transfer to Georgia? I’m sure the rules prohibit it in some way, and most coaches probably wouldn’t allow it, but it sure would make me laugh.

    • Otto

      As a Grad Transfer he likely only has one year remaining. UGA would be a very logical pick, he knows the coach’s system and the coach wants more depth, instant playing time.

  11. This is a really, really bad look. Limiting options of a player that hasn’t graduated is one thing. Limiting the options of a graduate seems so very much worse. Restricting the kid because of a personal coaching spat makes it exponentially worse. And the verbal sparring between the coach and the family is the cherry on the schadenfreude sundae.

    It’s nice to see how worried Nick is about Kirby’s future at UGA.

  12. That story was truly fair, and I’m very surprised that al.com wrote it. The writer will probably get a brick thrown through his window or have all of the greenery in his yard visited by an “arborist.”

    Compare Little Nicky’s selfish response that to Kirby’s response, who has officially gone on record to say a graduate transfer from Georgia won’t be restricted.

  13. Muttley

    If this story is accurate then Alabama is essentially operating as a cult: “All in or out policy. Sorry Bro.” That’s how cults work- you submit totally and unquestioningly to authority, sacrifice your own interests and everything you have to the movement, and the rest of the world is your enemy. Otherwise, you’re shunned and you’re nothing. But then again, maybe all major programs strive for that. Georgia is supposed to be implementing the Alabama Way, right?

    Big Team, (no) Me becomes a harder sell when Big Team is selling all the No-Mes for Big Cash and they’ve just built a network for Big Team.

    In any case, the goal is to give the Company more power and control and the student-product less freedom to do anything but serve the machine. The NCAA’s sacred mission: to turn the student-athlete into a commercial asset.

  14. Bulldog Joe

    Sure, roster management is a great power trip until it starts to cut both ways.

  15. JJ

    This situation has gotten absurd. I don’t really fault Saban for initially blocking the transfer (hypocritical but all about winning, whatever) but at this point the relationship is so clearly and publicly toxic. Seems to me that the bad PR outweighs any competitive advantage and I honestly thought even Saban might relent.

    What is Maurice going to do now? Does Saban want the poor kid to keep playing for a team that trashed his stuff? I agree that continuing to argue that this is in his best interest (instead of just saying ‘I don’t want players following their old coach’) is surprising – it is absurdly nonsensical even in the backwards world of college football rules.